Bulletin: August 27th, 2023

First Lutheran Church, Amery

A people and a place of grace.  All are welcomed.  All are loved.
Song: 
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true; with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS- p. 56

Song:
Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord. (echo)
Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord. (echo)
And he, (echo) Shall lift, (echo) You up, higher and higher
And he (echo) Shall lift (echo) You up.
Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above With wisdom, pow’r and love, Our God is an awesome God.

GREETING 

PSALM 138 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart…I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your love and faithfulness;  for you have glorified your name and your word above all things. When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.  All the kings of the earth will praise you, O LORD, when they have heard the words of your mouth. They will sing of the ways of the LORD, that great is the glory of the LORD. Though the LORD be high, he cares for the lowly; he perceives the haughty from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe; you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me. The LORD will make good his purpose for me; O LORD, your love endures forever; do not abandon the works of your hands.

Song:
1. Oh, sing to the Lord,  oh, sing God a new song. repeat
2.  For God is the Lord, and God has done wonders. repeat                                
3. So dance for our God, and blow all the trumpets. repeat
4. Oh, shout to our God,  who gave us the Spirit.  repeat                                                    
5. For Jesus is Lord!   Amen!  Alleluia!  repeat                          

PRAYER: God of all creation, you reach out to call people of all nations to your kingdom. As you gather disciples from near and far, count us also among those who boldly confess your Son Jesus Christ as Lord. Amen

Isaiah 51:1-6 In this text, the writer appeals to a people who seem apathetic, if not despairing. Isaiah reminds Israel that God's actions in the past (v. 2) are the basis for hope in the present. 
Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the LORD. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many. For the LORD will comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me, my nation; for a teaching will go out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples. I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended.

Romans 12:1-8 Paul offers practical advice to the Roman Christians, suggesting new ways of relating to God, to the world, to the self, and to other believers. 
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God--what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.

Song:
This is the day (echo)   That the Lord has made (echo)  
We will rejoice (echo)     And be glad in it (echo)  

GOSPEL: Matthew 16:13-20 At a climactic point in Jesus' ministry, God reveals to Peter that Jesus is "the Messiah, the Son of the living God," and Jesus responds by revealing his vision of the church. 
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

SERMON
Here in this place the new light is streaming, now is the darkness
vanished away; see in this space our fears and our dreamings
brought here to you in the light of this day.
Gather us in, the lost and forsaken, gather us in,
the blind and the lame; call to us now, and we shall awaken,
we shall arise at the sound of our name.
We are the young, our lives are a myst’ry,
we are the old who yearn for your face;
we have been sung throughout all of hist’ry,
called to be light to the whole human race.  
Gather us in, the rich and the haughty,
gather us in, the proud and the strong;
give us a heart, so meek and so lowly,
give us the courage to enter the song.
OFFERING, PRAYERS, LORD’S PRAYER, BENEDICTION

HYMN:  Go, My Children
“Go, my children, with my blessing, never alone.                                    
Waking, sleeping, I am with you, you are my own.                                      
In my love’s baptismal river I have made you mine forever.                
Go, my children, with my blessing, you are my own.”
“Go, my children, sins forgiven, at peace and pure.                                
Here you learned how much I love you, what I can cure.                        
Here you heard my dear Son’s story, here you touched him,
saw his glory. Go, my children, sins forgiven, at peace and pure.”
“Go, my children, fed and nourished, closer to me,
Grow in love and love by serving, joyful and free.
Here my Spirit’s power filled you, here my tender comfort stilled you,
Go my children, fed and nourished, joyful and free.”
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